Posts Tagged ‘Gareth Barry to Arsenal

01
Jun
09

Ade to Milan, Xabi to Arsenal, Barry to Arsenal, and Cesc to Real/Barca. No, this is not a repeat of summer 2008

It’s going to be a scorcher here, 80 some degrees (Fahrenheit) and I think I might get the motorcycle out. That seems like a nice way to kick off the Transfer season.

A couple of things before we get into the “news.” First off, you should look for me to migrate the site to my actual dot com site this summer. This might mean a week off from blogging. Maybe less, we’ll see.

Second, I appreciate everyone who voted yesterday. The turnout was pretty good and the winner, with 89 votes, is Eduardo’s cheeky side footer against Burnley.

I’ve said it before, but a 100% healthy Eduardo is key to success next season because as that video shows he’s just a top, top class striker. If you think back to the end of the 05/06 season, it was pretty clear that Arsenal’s new style of play needed a poacher. It took him two years and the loss of Titi, but finally Wenger went out and got one. And all Dudu did in his first year was score 8 goals in 19 starts. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if he gets a good run next year 20 goals is achievable.

Fingers crossed!

You know how I know this is meaningless?

Evidently, Arsenal came in third place in the “Fair Play League.” I’ve followed this particular stat for a few years and always thought this meant something, I mean, add up reds and yellows and viola you get a pretty fair representation of a team’s play, right? Well, it turns out that the “Barclays Fair Play League” has all kinds of stupid, subjective, crapola like “positive play” and “respect for referees.”

And there’s Chelsea, above Arsenal.

lol.

Yeah, right, I watched quite a few Chelsea matches this season and there is no way that team should be above Arsenal in “fair play.”

Rehashing 2008’s transfer stories.

As a subscriber to Fark.com, I’m used to seeing stupid news stories. I’m even used to seeing repeats, it’s one thing you can guarantee from the press; they will repeat stories until people catch on to what they are doing. But I’m not used to having 4 repeats of 4 Arsenal transfer stories pop up on the same day; Ade to Milan, Cesc has targeted Alonso, Barry is a target for Arsenal, and then there’s the ubiquitous “Cesc to Spain” story. Strange indeed.

Oh well, since this Alonso/Barry story is a repeat of last year, I went back and looked at what I said about this last year — if they can repeat, why can’t I? Enjoy.

I’ll bet if Silvestre stays healthy he will be seen by Gooners as yet another master stroke by the boss (I just HAD to include this little gem, who is the dumbass who writes this blog? DOES HE EVEN WATCH SOCCER???)

Meanwhile, the boss was more circumspect with his statements about Barry/Alosno.  I’m lumping both players together here because, they are both 27, both play midfield, both are cup tied, both are Arsenal targets and both players fit Arsene’s quotes.  Thus, I consider Arsene to be chasing both players and whichever one we get, I think Arsenal fans will be happy.  I’d prefer Alonso because I think he’s a technically superior player, he’s Spanish, and he would fit right into the Arsenal midfield.  On the other hand, Barry would bring steel and English-ness to the team, and let’s not let the importance of having Englishmen on the team fall to the way side.  Rumor has it Arsenal have already negotiated a contract with Alonso but Liverpool is refusing to lower their value of the player at £18m, even though, as Arsene points out he’s cup tied.  Villa, similarly, are stuck with their £18m valuation since they have already turned down a lesser bid from Liverpool.  I suppose they could offer Arsenal the player for less, but wouldn’t that allow Liverpool the same chance to swoop for the player that Arsenal just did for Silvestre?

More importantly for me is I don’t get the sense that Barry wants to play for Arsenal.  No.  He wants to play for Liverpool, you know, to “fulfill his dream.”  I think Barry is a smokescreen.  Arsenal are in for Alonso and Alonso only.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  Just the other day I was preparing you all for a summer with no more signings and now here I am hopeful that the team will sign the one player I wanted all summer — starry eyed optimist that I am.

I really wish that the cocksandwich who wrote that crap above at least watched some soccer.

That’s it for today, I’ve got to get the bike up and running and get to work. See you later!

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29
May
09

Gooner of the Year; Andrei Arshavin

brrrrdtd dttd ttd tdt four goals at anfield

It wasn’t even close. 76% of you voted for Andrei Arshavin in the poll while Robin van Persie was a distant second at 58%. To put it another way, the difference between 5th place and 2nd place was just over 10%. It’s a comfortable win for the little Russian and here’s why.

First, he had to overcome the negative press that those racists at Zenit were spewing in order to make themselves look like the better party in this deal. They tried to make him look like the whiner, like the guy who had been given everything and that they just wanted a fair deal out of it. But the truth was that they foolishly cup tied him in the Champions League, thus devaluing the player, and the fact that the Russian season doesn’t kick off until after the January transfer window meant that Arshavin wasn’t match fit, further devaluing the player in the January transfer window. When Andrei got to Arsenal he immediately gave an interview, where he showed off his impressive English skills, and set about dispelling all the rumors. He wanted to play for Arsenal.

Second, he had to overcome his lack of match fitness. I’m not saying the guy was 200 lbs or something, just that no matter how much you work out it’s not the same as actually playing and practicing at full speed. There was a brief moment where we all thought we might see him against Spurs, only 8 days after signing, but it wasn’t to be. He remained on the bench until Feb 21st, 2009, against Sunderland, perhaps you remember the day? I do.

Here he is, gooner of the year, as photographed by yours truly

Still it took him a few weeks to sort of settle in. The match against Fulham a week later, you could really see that the toll of the Premier League pace had gotten to him.

And then the little Russian went on a tear, scoring or setting up goals in 5 games in a row; WBA, Burnley, Blackburn, Hull, and Newcastle. As he gained fitness, Arsenal started reaping the benefits and the club started winning games. That’s when I think we all knew we had something special, because a fully fit Arshavin was truly something to behold.

Third, he had to overcome the physicality of the Premier League. Speaking of the Newcastle game, does anyone remember Steven Taylor’s vicious attack on Andrei? No?

After the game Andrei simply said “The style of play is hard but not vicious. It is not something that I am used to but I understand it perfectly – you can’t relax for a second.” He had taken his lumps and came up a better man for it.

Which brings us to the final obstacle that he had to overcome; Premier League defenses. Despite Man U’s blistering defeat in Rome, I still believe that in league play the English Premier League has the toughest defenses in the world. If you look at the top four defenses in the EPL, they concede less than a goal a game on average. So, scoring goals, against top clubs, in league play, is very hard. One player scoring two goals against a bottom club is pretty good, but one player scoring 4 goals, against a top club, on their patch, where they had only conceded 10 goals all season?

No way.

Yes way.

I’m not going to put all four goals here, because one stands out as extra special and I don’t want it lost in the shuffle. It’s the type of goal that only the top, top class players take. It’s the type of goal that Gooners of the Year make.

So, for overcoming all those obstacles, for playing beautifully, for scoring wonder goals, and for putting us on your back and securing fourth place, Andrei Arshavin, you are our Gooner of the Year.

Transfer Rumors

My one observant reader will notice that I have put a third page on my masthead, entitled “Players Who Didn’t Sign for Arsenal” it’s my little tongue in cheek look at all the guys that get linked to the club, that the press go gaga over, and who sign elsewhere. Today, we can add one name to that list, some Jerkoff from St. Racistberg, who signed for Chelsea. I’m hapy for them both.

Future additions to the list could be:

Gareth Barry apparently wants to come to Arsenal… for £12m. I would pay £12m for Gareth Barry. I would pay probably £20m for him, just because his passport is that all important shade of Claret that makes xenophobes like Platini and Bleater get all tingly inside. Of course, this has about as much chance of happening as I do of having sex with Christina Hendricks, but hey, a man can dream.

Supposedly, Arsenal are also targeting a striker from Bordeaux named Chamakh. You really have to check out this link, his “highlight” reel is absolutely comical. It’s two videos showing a few dozen missed goals and like one decent chip shot. A striker who misses bags of chances? Rarely do we see Arsenal linked with a man who is so truly ready to jump right into the first team.

Since Brede Hangeland is making noises that he’s going to stay at Fulham and fulfil his life’s ambition of being a second rate defender, the press have turned their attention to Ajax captain Thomas Vermaelen.  Hey, he’s a defender, which is a refreshing change from all the stories linking us to strikers…

and wingers like Marat Izmailov. Signing Arshavin from Zenit seems to have had the knock on effect of getting the press to link us to every Tom, Dick, and Ivan in Russia.

And last, but not least, someone went back into their tickle file and pulled out the name “Mbia.” He’s over 6′ tall, plays as a holding midfielder, and has been linked with Arsenal in the past, practically begging to come to Arsenal in the January transfer window. But, my favorite aspect of this rumor is that when you google “mbia” you get some kind of Municipal Bond Insurance Agency. 

Also, no way.




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